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Sweden’s backlash: Why the tide is turning for refugees

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Sweden has received more refugees per capita than any other country last year, but many Swedes have started to question the country’s immigration policies as crime rates and extremism are on the rise.

Traditionally, Sweden has been viewed as welcoming to refugees.

In 1970, most immigrants came from other European nations like Finland, Yugoslavia, Denmark and Greece. The 1980s saw people come from Iran, Chile, Lebanon and Turkey.

In the last 10 years, the numbers have taken off and in 2015, nearly 163,000 individuals applied for asylum in Sweden, a nation of 9.8 million people.

Syrians accounted for 51,000 of these asylum seekers, 41,000 came from Afghanistan, 20,000 from Iraq, along with thousands from Eritrea, Somalia and Iran. A combined 4,000 came from Albania and Kosovo.

Today, around 1.6 million people living in Sweden were born in another country – that is 16 percent of the population.